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Russia’s ‘honour’ hangs on safety of England fans travelling to World Cup

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told MPs fans should be aware of the risks but said it was on ‘the honour’ of Russia to guarantee fan safety.

It is on Russian “honour to guarantee the safety” of England fans travelling to the World Cup, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has told MPs.

About 10,000 England fans are expected to travel to Russia for the tournament next month and there are fears of scenes similar to when Russian fans charged England supporters at Euro 2016.

Labour’s shadow sport minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, speaking in the Commons, pressed the Government for assurances that fans would be safe.

British and English fans' safety must be our top priority at the World Cup Rosena Allin-Khan

She said: “At the European Championships in 2016 Russian hooligans showed themselves to be organised, well armed and extremely violent.

“British and English fans’ safety must be our top priority at the World Cup.

“Can the Secretary of State confirm if the British diplomat responsible for fan safety at the World Cup was expelled by Russia and if so how can the Government even comprehend relying on Russian reassurances that our fans will be safe?”

Mr Johnson responded: “It is absolutely vital that fans who are preparing to go to Russia for the World Cup, and we are not actively trying to dissuade them, we don’t think that would be right, they should look at our keep on the ball website, they should look at the risks that we believe may be associated with any particular venues.

“It is up to the Russians, it is on their honour to guarantee the safety not just of British fans but of fans from around the world.”

Russian authorities have given their “assurance” fans will be safe from violence at the World Cup finals.

The Foreign Affairs Committee heard last week that officials have a “blacklist” of known hooligans and have banned anyone responsible for trouble at Euro 2016 from attending.

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